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What are Product Goals?


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Product Goals: The Key to Driving Business Success

As a product manager, your main responsibility is to create a product that meets the needs of your customers while driving business success. However, this can be easier said than done. In order to create a product that achieves these goals, you need to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. That’s where product goals come in.

Product goals are a critical component of product management. They help you define the purpose and direction of your product, as well as provide a clear roadmap for achieving success. In this article, we’ll explore what product goals are, why they’re important, and how to create effective product goals.

History of Product Goals

Product Goal is a relatively new concept in the field of product management. It was introduced in the 2020 version of the Scrum Guide as a mandatory component of a product backlog.

Prior to the introduction of Product Goal, the Scrum Guide used to focus on Product Backlog as the main tool for product management. However, the Product Backlog was often considered a laundry list of features and ideas that needed to be implemented. There was no clear vision or direction, which made it difficult for the team to prioritize and deliver the right value to the customer.

In order to address this issue, the Product Goal was introduced as a way to provide a unifying vision and purpose to the product backlog. The Product Goal is a long-term objective that the team wants to achieve through the product they are building. It represents the outcome that the team is working towards and provides a direction for the entire team to follow.

What are Product Goals?

Product goals are the desired outcomes that your product should achieve. They are measurable, specific, and time-bound targets that guide the development of your product. Product goals help you focus on the most important aspects of your product, and ensure that all of your efforts are aligned towards achieving those goals.

SMART Product Goals

Product goals should be SMART:

  • Specific: The goal should be well-defined and clearly understood.
  • Measurable: The goal should be quantifiable so that progress can be tracked.
  • Achievable: The goal should be realistic and achievable within the given time frame.
  • Relevant: The goal should be aligned with the overall business objectives.
  • Time-bound: The goal should have a specific deadline for completion.

Why are Product Goals Important?

Product goals are important for several reasons:

  • They provide focus and direction: Product goals help you stay focused on what’s important and ensure that all of your efforts are aligned towards achieving those goals. This can help prevent distractions and keep you on track towards success.
  • They facilitate decision-making: When you have clear product goals, it’s easier to make decisions about what features to prioritize, what changes to make, and what direction to take the product in.
  • They measure progress: Product goals provide a measurable way to track progress and determine if you’re on track to achieving your objectives.
  • They align the team: When everyone on the team understands the product goals, it’s easier to align efforts towards achieving them. This can improve communication, collaboration, and ultimately, the success of the product.

How to Create Effective Product Goals?

Creating effective product goals is a process that involves several steps:

Step 1: Identify the Business Objectives

The first step in creating effective product goals is to identify the business objectives. This involves understanding the overall business strategy and how the product fits into that strategy.

Once you have a clear understanding of the business objectives, you can start to define product goals that support those objectives:

Step 2: Define the Target Audience

The next step is to define the target audience. This involves understanding who the product is designed for and what their needs and pain points are.

By understanding the target audience, you can create product goals that are tailored to their needs:

Step 3: Determine the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The next step is to determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure progress towards the product goals.

KPIs should be specific, measurable, and aligned with the product goals.

Step 4: Create the Product Goals

The final step is to create the product goals. Product goals should be based on:

  1. The business objectives
  2. The target audience,
  3. The KPIs.

They should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Examples of Product Goals

Here are some examples of product goals:

  • Increase user engagement by 20% within the next 6 months.
  • Reduce customer churn rate by 10% within the next quarter.
  • Increase revenue by 15% within the next year.
  • Improve customer satisfaction rating by 10 by the end of months

Comparison of Iteration/Sprint Goals, Product Goals and Product Vision

While there are similarities between Sprint/Iteration Goals, Product Goals, and Product Vision, there are also some key differences.

  • Sprint/Iteration Goals are created for a specific iteration. they focus on achieving a specific business value during that iteration.
  • Product Goals, on the other hand, are created for the entire product, and they focus on achieving specific outcomes over a longer period of time(Month).
  • Product Vision is the highest-level description of the desired future state of the product. it provides a long-term direction(Year) for the product.

Who defines these Goals?

  • Sprint/Iteration Goals are created collaboratively by the team during Sprint/Iteration Planning.
  • Product Goals are created collaboratively by the product team, and they are based on the product’s vision, strategy, and roadmap.
  • Product Vision is created collaboratively by the product team, stakeholders, and customers, and it provides a shared understanding of the product’s purpose, direction, and intended outcomes.

In summary, Sprint/Iteration Goals, Product Goals, and Product Vision are all important components of product development. Sprint/Iteration Goals provide a specific focus for the team during an iteration, while Product Goals provide a roadmap for achieving success over a longer period of time. Product Vision provides a high-level description of the desired future state of the product, and it guides the product team’s decision-making and helps them stay focused on the most important aspects of the product.

Product Goals checklist

Here is a checklist for creating effective Product Goals:
  1. Specific: Are the goals clearly defined and specific? Can they be broken down into smaller, achievable tasks?

  2. Measurable: Are the goals quantifiable? Can progress towards them be tracked and measured?

  3. Achievable: Are the goals realistic and achievable given the resources and constraints of the project?

  4. Relevant: Are the goals relevant to the overall strategy of the company? Do they align with the company’s mission and vision?

  5. Time-bound: Are there deadlines or timeframes for achieving the goals? Is progress towards the goals monitored regularly?

  6. Prioritized: Are the goals prioritized based on their importance and urgency? Is there a clear understanding of which goals are most critical?

  7. Involvement: Have all relevant stakeholders been involved in setting and prioritizing the goals? This includes the product development team, customers, marketing, sales, and other departments affected by the product.

  8. Communication: Are the goals communicated clearly and regularly to all stakeholders? Is there a shared understanding of what the goals are and why they are important?

  9. Flexibility: Are the goals flexible and adaptable? Can they be revised or updated as needed to reflect changing circumstances or new information?

By using this checklist, Product Goals can be effectively created and implemented to guide the product development process and ensure that the team is working towards a common objective that aligns with the company’s mission and vision.

Product Goals Template:

Here you can use this template for free:

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3 thoughts on “What are Product Goals?”

  1. I downloaded your file and using it for our company – Thanksss Javad Farahani for this simple and functional template…

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